One of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.
Read my review of Sky of Swords.
anteroom: a large entrance or reception room or area
argent: a metal tincture used in heraldry to give a silvery appearance
coiffure: the arrangement of the hair (especially a woman's hair)
commissariat: a stock or supply of foods
cortege: the group following and attending to some important person
cynosure: something that strongly attracts attention and admiration
galliard: A gay, lively dance
garderobe: a wardrobe or its contents
harridan: a scolding (even vicious) old woman
kirtle: a long dress worn by women
misprision: A neglect, negligence, or contempt
pillory: a wooden instrument of punishment on a post with holes for the neck and hands; offenders were locked in and so exposed to public scorn
pique: tightly woven fabric with raised cords
poltroon: an abject coward
seneschal: the chief steward or butler of a great household
sumptuary: regulating or controlling expenditure or personal behavior; sumptuary laws
trousseau: the personal outfit of a bride; clothes and accessories and linens
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